The talk of a new temple in Jerusalem has been around as I have been alive and two thousand years before.
The Apostle John wrote The Revelation about AD95, so when John speaks of the Temple (The Revelation 11 verses 1 and 2), it must refer to a new Temple as Herod's Temple was destroyed 25 years earlier, in 70AD.
Now that made 'us' take a step back and consider its implication.
Jesus predicated that not one stone of Herod's temple would stand upon another. Moreover, we now know why it had to have its rocks thrown down and then burned. That was the only way to extract the gold (by melting it).
There are passages in the Bible, such as Matthew 24 verse 15; 2 Thessalonians 2 verse 3; The Revelation 11 verses 1 and 2, that coincide with many incidents that have happened at Solomon's and Herod's Temple's.
Reading these with the knowledge of history, helps the theology make sense today.
There are references to a reinstitution of animal sacrifices (which can only be undertaken at the Temple); and stories of a political international figure who establishes a world peace and breaks this protocol of peace. Certainly the political double crossing resonates with a host of incidents in modern times!!
Solomon's and Herod's Temples were both built on Mount Moriah, the location of today's Mosque which was rebuilt on the site of earlier Mosques after several earthquakes, in about 1036. It was completed to its present al-Aqsa Mosque which is in the same 'precinct', or Haram al-Sharif ("the Noble Sanctuary"), by Suleiman 1520-1566. (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Society_&_Culture/geo/Mount.html)
The Temple Mount 'precinct' is the same rock on which are the variously built, altered and renovated structures: the Temple; the Mosque; and during the Crusader times a Church. It is also believed to be the site that Abraham offered up Isaac, and the threshing floor which David purchased and sanctified as the location for the Temple.
The site has a 4,000 year history.
The Mosque and the original Temple foundations are separated by layers of centuries old rubble. The Wailing Wall is an exposed section of this ancient Western Wall of the area that surrounded the Temple. Its lowest visible part are the Herodian stones of Jesus' time, and on top are the Byzantine and Crusader constructions, then further up to its present level, is where the Mosque square sits.
It's sacred to the Moslem for they hold Mohammed ascended into heaven off this rock (in the centre of the Mosque).
Although a face value reading of the scriptures indicates the Temple will be rebuilt, many ultra-religious Jews believe the Temple cannot be rebuilt as no one today can show a direct descendent line to the Tribe of Levi and the family of Aaron who are the only ones able to enter the Holy of Holies. This is why such Jews oppose any plans for a reconstruction.
And there is yet another issue for consideration. 'Measurements' in the Bible also refer to people's spiritual condition, as described in Ezekiel 40 and Zechariah 2. Measurements for a new temple may or may-not refer to a physical measurement.
Yet, it is not for us to know how the Temple could be rebuilt citing The Revelation 11: verses 1 and 2. He adds, who could have foretold that the Berlin Wall could have come down so quickly.
Some events are just beyond astonishing!
Many Christians believe that the miracle of a rebuilt Temple may be the very event that may create a change of heart for Jewish peoples to recognise Jesus as Messiah as did old Simeon in Luke 2 - "For mine eyes have seen Thy Salvation".
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html